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Hawaii Vacations: 7 Great 4-Star Hotels

Here's several 4-Star Hawaiian hotels that offer first-class accommodations and beach front views.

Sheraton Moana Surfrider - This historic hotel has been lovingly restored and maintains it's circa 1901 charm. Located on Waikiki beach, it offers high tea and sunset buffets.

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Volcano Hospitality

Kilauea volcano has for quite some time has enticed and fascinated visitors. Since the mid-1800s, The Volcano House Hotel has sat on the edge of Kilauea caldera. Between the years of 1865-1955 the hotel maintained a register which has recorded the experience and wonder of Pele's domain. A lesson in geology and human nature, the amusing entries chronicle the lengths an adventurer might go to experience a natural wonder. The guest book first appeared in 1865.

Volcano house was no more than a grass hut when O.H. Gluck donated the first blank guest book.

Travelers and passerby are requested by the donor of this book to record their names in it and to note all, or any, volcanic phenomena that may come under their notice during their stay at the time of their visit. By so doing, this record may become of great value, some years hence, to the scientific world. O.H.

Gulick, 2 Feb 1865 In 1865 Volcano House was located between two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. As there was no official observatory at the time, Gulick proposed the original log book would be a means to record volcanic activity. The Volcano House eventually became a hotel which was rebuilt over the years. As one logbook was filled a new register was donated.

In 1866 an improved hotel was constructed by Julius Richardson of frame, bamboo and thatch. There was a furnished parlor, a fireplace, and two sleeping rooms. Having visited Kilauea in the days when the old shed with its open door and hole in the center, for a fireplace, were all the accommodation for poor weary chilled travelers; how great is our appreciation and admiration of the present delightful dwelling which well deserves the name of hotel. Well may Madame Pele now light up her fires and advertise for visitors since she can receive them with hospitality.

M.A. Chamberlain, Honolulu, 19 July 1866 In 1877, William H. Lentz was hired to assist in building an improved hotel. he took over as proprietor until 1883. The 1877 building now houses the Volcano Art Center.

The management of the Volcano House is second to none in the kingdom, and could be well copied by a house in Honolulu of far greater pretensions. I reckon that all who come here will be pleased, the combination of a cool atmosphere, a genial host, a table thoroughly supplied with various delicacies which could not be expected here and last though not least good beds and warm fires make it a place where one would like to remain for a week. signature illegible, Louisiana, 6 Dec 1882 In 1883 O.T.

Shipman took over managing the hotel until 1885. Guests were pleased with the new management. However, the main attraction continued to be Madame Pele. THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH The Great Craters OF HALE-MAU-MAU and KALEAU! Billows of liquid fire! Waves of molten lava!! Fiery fountains!!! UNPARALLELED PYROTECHNIC DISPLAYS!!!! Day and Night Goddess Pele, Propreitress Geo. D. Dorrin, Berkeley, Cal.

, 19-21 April 1884 In 1885 the Volcano House came under the new ownership of the "Wilder Steamship Company," with John Maby as manager. I came to the Volcano House for the benefit of my health and must say that the climate, the comfortable and clean beds, the good well prepared food, the sulfur baths and the kind treatment I have received at the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Maby have made me feel like a new man. I can not help but feel surprised that people from Honolulu especially and the different islands also don't come here to the Volcano House when they need a rest, because everything that can be done for them is certainly done by the manager and his good lady.

Only regret is that Madame Pele was not at home when we called on her, but the grand and awe inspiring sights we saw repaid us quite for any hardships we had to go through, if any, on our return home. The weather during the time I have been here has not been such as one would call favorable but the open hearted welcome which I invariably received after a tramp in the surrounding woods has always cheered me up. John G. Eckardt, 24 Jan 1887 1891 saw new owners, the Volcano House Company. A new and larger hotel was constructed under the direction of George A.

Howard. The new manager of the house was Peter Lee, he ran the Volcano House until 1898. Four A.

M. visited crater. Twenty-eight fountains were playing. Combined light from lanterns and crater formed an awe inspiring sight. Visitors are strongly recommended to visit Madame Pele by night.

Mr. Lee's opposition may be overcome by strategy. Hide lamps and sticks in your beds. no signature, 2 April 1894 In 1898, Fred Waldron took over management of Volcano House for about two years. We made a trip to the crater by day and one by night - both of which were interesting.

At night the cracks burned a fiery red and we amused ourselves cooking eggs, baking bananas and burning sticks. We went into the hot cone and felt the heat of 130 degrees, and charmed by the interesting wonders and moonlight, almost forgot to come back - so, much to our surprise when we were coming through the moonlit forest of ferns we met a search party - fearful that the edge had caved in and that we were no more. The relief of our host and hostess (Mr.

and Mrs. Waldron) at our return, was shown in a very charming midnight repast and a hot crackling wood fire. Mrs., Edith Maling, 19 June 1902 After Mr.

Waldron left, St. Clair Bidgood became manager until 1904. For snow capped mountain peaks, rugged rocks, fiery pits, bracing air, complete cuisine, good service and the most congenial of hosts, visit the Volcano House. C.K.

Maguire, Manila P.I., 5 July 1904 In 1904 George Lycurgus and his nephew Demosthenes Lycurgus arrived to manage the hotel.

Demosthenes ran the Volcano House between 1905 and 1919. For the admirer of the marvelous; for the over of Nature in one of her most picturesque garbs; for the seeker after health for the bob-vivant; for the botanist, the geologist, and the seismologist; here is to be found something or other to interest, to enjoy, and to satisfy. Singular must be the human being who cannot be happy amidst such charming surroundings.

Edward Armitage, Palikani, 2 Dec 1905 In 1919 Demosthenes went to Greece for a visit and Peter Anastasopoulous took over as manager. While in Greece Demosthenes became ill and died in 1921. The Inter-Island Steamship Company then gained control of Volcano House and made extensive alterations. Peter T. Phillips managed for awhile, and was replaced in 1923 by Channing J.

Lovejoy who managed until 1927. I shall remember my days here with great pleasure. The first time in traveling (India, China, Japan) I have been able to sit in the woods, enjoy peacefully the birds, the ferns. It reminds me of my own Dorset homeland.

Beautiful Hawaii. Wm. George, Dorset, England, 28 Aug 1927 Mr.

and Mrs. James N. Gandy ran the Volcano House from 1927 to 1932. The most spectacular sight I ever hope to see - came to spend a weekend, decided to stay two weeks. Clare Bennett, 27 July 1929 No better comforts.

No better scenery and atmosphere. A home within a hotel. Lady Florence, 10 May 1931 Only two years after the Inter-Island Company purchased and invested $150,000 in renovations in the hotel Halemaumau ceased activity. Revenues fell due to fewer visitors. The Volcano House went into receivership following the depression, stock market crash and financial difficulties. At a sheriff's sale in 1932, George Lycurgus became owner of the hotel once more.

The only bidder he purchased Volcano House for $300. The Volcano House became world famous, partly because of the unique location and beautiful country and partly because of Mr. Lycurgus himself. The Volcano House and Hawaiian National Park is indeed a garden of Eden in Paradise. The exterior and interior of the Volcano House has all the sophistication of the most deluxe Hotel in the world, and yet, by the flickering firelight encircling the cheery hearth, you will find the happy family attitude of a small abode. The engaging smile of welcome and true hospitality, from the most pleasing countenance of Mr.

George Lycurgus, greets you each morning, noon and evening. To me this gorgeous spot is like "love" - to describe it makes it but the less. It is something we feel yet can not define. It is something we know, yet can not express. Fay Frances King, Honolulu, no date In 1940 a fire in the kitchen ignited the entire hotel and everything within the hotel was lost.

The 1877 building was spared and made into a temporary hotel. By 1941, Lycurgus had built a new hotel, the Volcano House which still stands today. Related Internet Resources: http://aloha.150m.

com/volcanohouse.htm .

By: Gayle Olson

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